By now, you've heard about the dust up on the set of Grey's Anatomy. If not, here's the quick run-down: Isaiah Washington and Patrick Dempsey - two of the television show's main actors - had a fight on the set. During the fight Washington referred to T.R. Knight, another actor on the show, as a "faggot." Minor mayhem ensued. Knight ended up coming out of the closet and life went on.
Then came the Golden Globes. Speaking to the press, Washington denied that he had ever said the slur with "No, I did not call T.R. a faggot. Never happened, never happened." Since the cast of the show was in attendance (They won an award for Best Drama.), Washington's lie was quickly called, er, to the carpet. Co-star Katherine Heigl was visibly disturbed and spoke to Access Hollywood about the incident. She confirmed that it had gone down as reported and how upset she was that Washington had used "faggot" again to try to deny the original incident.
A couple days later, T.R. Knight turned up on Ellen where he also confirmed that Washington had used the slur. He gave an eloquent and moving interview about coming out and how the slur had made him feel. (You can see the interview after the jump to the main entry.)
Now a petition is going around the net asking ABC to fire Washington for - wait for it - lying about saying "faggot" while saying "faggot" again. Maybe I'm missing something here...
I don't deny that getting called a "faggot" is hurtful. It is. But perhaps this brouhaha should have erupted when the incident first happened. It seems to me that Washington's second mistake was lying. I could care less about him saying the F word the second time - he was just referencing his first "non"-statement. The second incident isn't what links him to Mel Gibson and Michael Richards' recent outbursts - it was his first one.
Maybe they should have just fired him the first time when he said in anger - not out of a need to cover his ass.